Written by Staff Writer, CNN
If you’re looking for some top-of-the-year performers or exhibits, don’t let Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes’ breakup deter you from your holiday plans.
While Cabello and Mendes may not have had the romantic spark that the #MeToo movement was looking for, they certainly left an enormous impression on the music industry with their unprecedented success. Here’s why:
Both had stints on the Disney Channel and both had breakthrough hits in the 2017-2018 chart year of “Havana” and “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.”
The album Habits
A post shared by Camila Cabello (@camila_cabello) on Dec 8, 2018 at 4:56pm PST
Cabello’s 2017 debut, “Camila,” went platinum, making the 19-year-old pop star the youngest artist in Billboard history to achieve that feat. The album went on to earn Cabello four Grammy nominations (and won for Best Pop Solo Performance).
Mendes was nearly as quickly, making his debut in 2016 with “Stitches,” which helped him become a music world sensation. His first album, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” became available to download last December, and sold 180,000 copies in its first week.
Both hit the road
A post shared by Shawn Mendes (@shawnmendes) on Dec 5, 2018 at 9:43am PST
In an interview with Billboard last year, Cabello — who broke from the chart-topping group Fifth Harmony, also known as “The Harmonizers” — described the challenge of her solo ambitions.
“I want to work with as many amazing people as possible, so it’s kind of like finding the perfect person to work with,” she said. “But when you do your own solo stuff, of course you can have the freedom to surround yourself with different people. But then it becomes a different kind of freedom.”
Mendes — whose genre-bending music is likened to that of Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber — followed up his first album with “Illuminate,” which was released in the U.S. and U.K. in March, and went on to sell two million copies globally in just over six months.
Both had a unique spin on fandom
Fans gathered to cheer on both artists at their festival appearances in March. What’s more, both had unprecedented “first-conquer-the-world” experiences at the festival stages in the second half of the year.
It’s truly rare to have a big pop star dating an anonymous fan. But Cabello met her now ex-boyfriend — who was just 16 at the time — on the set of a music video for their 2017 single, “Never Be the Same.” He was dubbed “e5,” and she created a YouTube channel where she dedicated dedications to him. Cabello later visited her live-in boyfriend on his high school campus.
The media loved their brand
Cabello and Mendes both have a legion of fans who follow them on social media. But the pair gained unexpected media attention after rumors emerged in September of Cabello’s alleged fling with Charlie Puth — a year after the former Fifth Harmony member and the Grammy-nominated singer’s fans launched a petition to get him axed from the lineup of the Glastonbury Festival, an annual festival in the U.K.
Cabello and Mendes are currently continuing their tours, with Mendes performing in Los Angeles on Saturday at the L.A. Sports Arena and Cabello slated to appear on the Empire Network’s reboot of “Rent” (December 15 to 18 in Los Angeles) and on December 28 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
“It’s been a really fun year,” Cabello told CNN in an interview about the polarizing “Camila” earlier this year. “And the response I’ve gotten so far on the tour, everyone gets it, but they also get the message of my music and the fact that you don’t need to try to find a person or a thing in order to express yourself. So that’s been really cool.”